The Accra Architecture & Urbanism Writing Workshop takes place Friday, July 6 through Sunday, July 8, 2018 in Accra, Ghana. The workshop is being instituted to coach a number of emerging Architectural and urban focused academics in West Africa to be able to write academic blog articles to initiate a West African Architecture and Urbanism blog. These articles will be of sufficient quality to be submitted as comment pieces for key architecture journals and publications such as Architectural Review and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.
Current academic architectural writing lacks the voices of indigenous African authors, and the younger academics whom this workshop is aimed at are more likely to engage with digital media and the blog as a first step into academe. Existing architecture blogs such as DeZeen, ArchDaily, and the Aga Khan curated blog, Archnet make only passing mention of African architecture as the exotic cf. Kunle Adeyemi’s floating school and Matthias Kere’s Gando school. The blog articles that this workshop will seek to elicit will focus on getting the participants to write about contemporary emerging architecture and urban developments in and around the West African city of Accra, Ghana.
Participants will be mentored uniquely online by Dr Pam Nichols, director of the Wits Writing Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; Professor Iain Jackson, School of Architecture University of Liverpool; and Professor Miles Glendinning, Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies and Chair Docomomo International Panel on Urbanism and Landscape. Professor Uduku, Manchester School of Architecture, will run the programme ‘on the ground’ from Accra. Academic Joseph Frimpong, Ashesi University College; Kuukuwa Manful, Communications Manager, Africa Oxford Initiative; and Victoria Okoye, PhD Student, School of Architecture, University of Sheffield will assist with the running of the programme.
Potential sites of investigation:
– One Airport Square
– Historic house(s) in Jamestown / Ga Mashie
– Balme Library or Children’s Library
The workshop is open to postgraduate (masters, PhD) students at Ghanaian universities who will spend a long weekend – from Friday morning to Sunday evening working visiting sites, researching, and writing articles for the blog. Students will work in pairs to cover five identified topics; comprising two new contemporary office blocks in Accra, and studies of old Accra (James Town/Ga Mashie).
The resulting texts will be edited and curated to become the inaugural articles for an African blog but also will be offered as commentary for the aforementioned peer reviewed journals – with a view to using this as a basis for future regular contributions and the possibility of a future West Africa themed journal publication on the strength of the writing of the blog pieces. Professor Ola Uduku will also negotiate the sub-hosting of the journal within the University of Liverpool Trans National Architecture blog.
This workshop, taking place July 6-8, 2018 in Accra, Ghana, is open to 4-5 postgraduate students (or recent graduates). Students should ideally be studying or have experience in the disciplines of architecture or planning and with a demonstrated interest in buildings. To apply, email Ola Oduku at O (dot) Uduku (at) mmu (dot) ac (dot) uk with a one page explanation of why you’d like to participate in the weekend course and outlining your previous professional, studies, and writing experience in this area, as well as a writing sample.
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